Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth {Chapter One Review}


{I'm well aware I've been reading about the Amish, on my Nook.  In fact, I read the first chapter while getting a pedicure.  On my Nook.  And then walked over to Islands for a greasy hamburger. And then got my eyebrows waxed. The irony is not lost on me.}



Happy Monday, everyone!
I wanted to state a few things before we begin reviewing this {or any other} book.

My real desire behind reading Almost Amish is to step back and take a look at how I and our family navigate through life.  To reevaluate choices we make and take a closer look at the motivations behind life decisions. Both big and small.  I want to learn more about simple living because something inside me feels compelled to do so.  Like the Lord is drawing me out of my comfort zone and challenging me to look at life differently.

I hope some of these things are true for you.

That is the motivation for this book review and nothing else.  As such , I really want to make sure that this post and subsequent posts {and comments} are inviting and welcoming for all readers, even if we don't necessarily see eye to eye on suggestions, opinions and thoughts that the writer {and other readers} my propose.  I want people to share but do so in a careful and caring way.

We all are on a life journey but we are not all on the same life journey.

I would love if we could all share our hearts, thoughts and opinions.  The subjects that are discussed in this book are close to home, so it's not like we are picking wallpaper colors, here.  It's heavy stuff!

Let's start!

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ALERT: I am not a woman of few words, when it comes to book reviews.  Just so you know.

Chapter One: HOMES

I knew that this would either be the chapter I loved the most or hated with the most fervor, seeing how much I truly adore the idea of a "nest" and making my house, a home. I wasn't sure if the chapter would challenge my dependance on a structural landmark as the "foundation" for our family.  Perhaps it would make me feel guilt for how much love and care I put into decor and cleanliness.
All in all, I was a bit nervous to start the book and especially to jump right in, with this subject.

I actually walked away from chapter one not feeling as guilty about my home, as a structure but more dwelling on what I think this book is going to "do" to me.  I can already sense that this isn't the type of book I can read, put back on the shelf and think, "That was nice.  Next".  It's going to be more than that, for me, and I believe it's providential.
That's not to say that I am going to agree with everything written {I've already raised an eyebrow or two}.
But, for some reason, the message is speaking to me.

In chapter one, Sleeth opened with an overview on the allure of the Amish and I have to say that I was able to identify.  I've watched several documentaries on the Amish lifestyle and read one book.  It's fascinating in a "Wow. I commend them, but could never do it..." type of way.  Similar to how I would admire a heart surgeon.  There is a sense of awe that accompanies your observation but never quite enough to cause you to commit to anything, aside from an acquaintance with the subject.
Until now.
What hit be between the eyes was when Sleeth began questioning WHY people are so interested in the Amish lifestyle.  They can poke fun at it, talk about why it's "weird" and so on, but it's definitely captivating.

I suppose it's captivating because it's different and this is where the wheels started cranking, full speed.. 


Without going deep into a sociological discussion, I think that it's harder to be different than we would care to admit.  Sure, people can be hipsters, go Vegan, drive a Prius, be a crafter, work in the fashion industry, vote for Obama, go green, be a yogi, join a rock band, start a running group .  These are small choices that make us uniquely differentiated from our cousin, best friend or mommy at the park, but these aren't alienating life decisions that place a chasm in between us and the rest of society {well, they do if you are a Republican, in California-ha!}.
For the most part, we are all much more similar then we think.  I do believe much of that is by choice.  Furthermore, I believe much of this somewhat unintentional {on our part} likeness is caused by media, technology and the constant stream of data that each of us receive on a daily basis. We all see much of the same input.  We hear the same news, read the same papers, are told the same daily messages from television, radio, celebrity, trash magazines. Our children are fed the same educational standards, attend the same activities based on season.  We subscribe to the same fashion trends that are delivered thanks to the latest Vogue, Elle or W magazine.  We intake thousands of sound-bytes from FaceBook, Twitter, PINTEREST, Instagram, Tumblr and blogs {there's that irony again}.
All day long we are consuming thought after thought after thought and have you ever wondered how many of those thoughts are actually YOURS.  Not the thoughts, opinions or values of the sender?

Imagine a life {much like the Amish} with zero input.
You are forced, daily, to discover who you are as a human, living being, without the aide of anyone else {with the exception of your family and community members}, telling you what your home should look like, how to do your hair, the rules on how to throw a party, the proper way to socially engage someone or the best way to plant a herb garden.
You come at your own way.
You figure it out.
You self develop without the constant aide of outside influences.
Self discovery.

That isn't to say that we, as "normal" Americans don't have moments of self discovery or understand who we are.  That's not it at all.  We just have to navigate through the ongoing stream of data, noise and opinion that we receive daily.  It's just our reality.

It's a really interesting concept, actually.
I'm not sure I'm nailing it the way I want to.  Am I?  Did you start thinking about these same things?

The two concepts I enjoyed the most.

Concept One.
When she began to write about the home as a foundation for the family, I really settled in and began to evaluate.  I admire so much about the Amish and their principles regarding family, dependency and home life.  From the onset of the chapter, I knew I would need to reflect, yet again, on my desires and motivations for why I do certain things to and for our home.  Instantly, I was struck with the passage that said, " Though their kitchens lack granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, and twenty-five cubic-foot electric refrigerators, the Amish spend far more time and produce many times more food in their kitchens than do most other Americans."

It made me think on the importance of doing rather then having.  When I surf PINTEREST, I can pin a cute printable that says, "Simple is the best!" and then two seconds later, I'm totally derailed by the millions of images of remodeled living rooms, kitchens and master bathrooms that are totally redone. They are fantastic and beautiful and instead of appreciating them, I want them.  I think that is where the problem begins and maybe the Amish understand the human condition better than I do. Therefore they guard themselves from that temptation.  Some may say that's taking it to the extreme, but who is to say that extreme is always wrong? 
I'm not sure yet.
What I do know is the idea of having a completely simple and functional home is appealing {to me} because it strips away the dependency on things and puts it back on people, relationships and what really matters.
The Amish kitchen may not have turquoise cabinets {like mine} or a Kitchen Aid mixer {like mine} or a enormous fridge that is bursting at the seams for four people {like mine} but they have everything they need.  So I suppose my questions to myself is, "Do I need all that I surround myself with?  If I don't, why have it?  Is that wasteful? What about the things I desire?  Is it wrong to want to remodel my already functional kitchen?  Should I indulge and enjoy the fruits of our labor or should I take the money and donate it?  Save it?"
This idea gave me more than enough to think on.  Adopting the Amish philosophy regarding material possessions could drastically change how I do, what I do.  I'm assuming it would for you too.  I would no longer look at our home as a self expression {which is what we are encouraged to do through decoration, collections, paint color, art and so on} but more as a central meeting place, with simple basics for sustainability and hospitality.


It scares me just as much as it entices me.
I guess I have a lot of thinking and stretching to do.


Concept Two.
I enjoyed looking at the home as a family haven and an opportunity to be hospitable.
In my mind, this is what our house is and what I hope it continues to be.  Since I was a little girl, I have always desired a large family of my own and I knew, as a young adult, that if the Lord didn't bless me with many children, I would fill my house with loved ones, friends and neighbors.  In this small way, I feel that I understand the Amish a little bit.  Their entire lives center around family and I admire and desire that. However, I feel that living in mainstream suburbia, we will have to deal with several unavoidable disadvantages, that the Amish don't experience.
We don't live with all of our family members, like the Amish.  Remember the part of the chapter when they described the family home?  There are quarters where the grandparents live and they all are under the same roof?  That concept is wildly different then what we are presented with, here in California {and I'm assuming the rest of America}.  People have enormous houses for four people and the idea of moving in with your in-laws isn't considered admirable, it's considered crazy.  It's rare that children live with their families past high school {well, most of the time} and when you do meet a family that does live with aunts/uncles/grandparents, you turn your head sideways and think, "That's brave. It must be temporary"  Is it really that absurd of a concept or have we just conditioned our minds and hearts to live at an arms length?  We have caller ID so we don't have to talk to someone if we don't want to, we text instead of call and we see our family only when it's convenient, as to avoid uncomfortable situations.  I'm sure that not every family member in a large Amish household gets along perfectly with everyone else. Guarantee, personalities collide.  The difference may be that they learn to deal with it and in turn sharpen their patience, ability to love and graciousness, towards one another.  While the rest of us learn the fine art of avoidance.
Also, I believe our society struggles with the built-in family time, with extended family.  Between crazy work schedules and the millions of activities that families now participate, families depend on quarterly holidays to be a "catch-up" time, rather then seeing or talking on a regular basis.  I definitely think we have something to learn from the Amish, in this regards.  Families live closer then ever, to one another, and see each other less and less.  When I was working with children on a daily basis, I became keenly aware of this model of family.  People are a stones throw from their family but have limited involvement in each others lives.  It's simply not a priority because people are busy and that means fitting one more thing in.  It's sad, to my way of thinking.
It's a different model for the Amish.  Family is priority one.  Not just your children but all family.

What do you think of this concept?  Am I off base?

Secondly, I appreciated that Sleeth touched on family dependency as a strength and not a weakness.  I have long seen depending on one another as a blessing but have heard the opposite sentiment, on more than one occasion.  Many see dependency {emotional, physical, financial or otherwise} on another family member, as total weakness. People want to handle everything on their own.  It's control, power and a feeling of self-satisfaction , derived from knowing you don't need anyone else.
Even still, I think that learning that everyone has something to contribute and that something or someone can be vital and essential to you, is a beautiful and humbling idea.  I like it.  Personally, I love the idea of people depending on me for things and I love following through for them.  I also love the notion that I can count on others to help me.  It's gratifying and the model of Jesus himself.  Looking out for and loving others.  Putting them first.  Ourselves last.  Working for the common good of the entire family {and when I say family, I also mean friends that are family} and not just our small family unit.
Again, this Amish mindset would be a total mind shift for society as a whole, if fully implemented.
Lastly, I loved the Sleeth regards hospitality as a commandment and imperative.  I believe it is!
How can we ignore verses like this?

Romans 12:10-13
10 "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." 

 We have these amazing homes and dwellings but I feel we can learn quite a bit more, from the Amish, about true hospitality.  Think about what we commonly regard as a good hostess.
Clean house.
Perfectly matching linens, plates, flatware.
Colorful, mixed drinks.
Great music playing.
Catered food that is perfectly displayed.

I've been to plenty of parties, gatherings and events where all of these things had taken place and yet the host was frantic {I have also been this hostess}.  Fretting about every last detail and less worried about the guest.  The people and their comfort.  This problem happens when it's all about us.  I can guarantee the times I was frantic, at an event, it was because I wanted everything to be perfect so it reflected perfection, which in turn made me look good.  That's the honest truth.
The Amish {or at least what we are reading about them, in this book} see the importance of true hospitality.  Opening up your space {no matter what it looks like} to be a warm, inviting and caring place for the weary, the downhearted, the joyful, the family member, the traveler, the neighbor or the hurting heart.
The Bible says nothing about a PINEREST-worthy table scape.  It merely says to be hospitable.  And the times I felt a host was most hospitable was when I stepped foot in a calm home, a candle was lit and they invited me to sit down and talk.  Maybe there was food.  Maybe not.  But the intention was to draw closer to the person and not the party. To ultimately have the Lord glorified in our discussion and meeting.

My gripe, with the first chapter
I did have a sneaking feeling, at times, that Sleeth portrayed her family as a little too untouchable.  There seemed to be a great deal of mentions as to their elite education, correct choices and ultimate superiority {as it pertained to simplistic-life living}, which less mentions about their mistakes and learned lessons, along the way. This made it a bit hard to relate.
Perhaps I was being too sensitive.  Did you sense this?


I also am looking forward to reading the rest of the book and hoping there are moments of honest disclosure about the drawbacks and difficulties, growing up Amish.  I see so many positive virtues about their lifestyle but would also think it necessary to learn about the important struggles and pain they feel, living so differently.  For me, I would desire a very well-rounded perspective about the lifestyle. 


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I understand that my review was a LOT to read.  If you did read it, in its entirety, I'm humbled and thank you.  I didn't edit my thoughts because I wanted it to be as complete and thorough, as possible.
Like I said at the beginning, these are MY thoughts and I want to hear what you think just as much as I wanted to share.  In no way do I assume or prescribe my thinking as the "only" way and never want a reader to feel as such.
Please feel comfortable to share however you felt, while reading.
We all have something to learn, from one another!



30 comments:

  1. I definitely saw the elite type stuff as you did and tried especially hard not to roll my eyes when they built a smaller house with all these perfect earth-saving measures with pats on their back. I'm sure her intentions are good but it did come across a little...un-relatable. I tried to appreciate the message meant for me and ignore the life of privilege that afforded them many of the choices they made. I imagine it's a matter of perspective too. They gave up quite the extravagant life for something much smaller and more pared down. I suppose they lost friends over it, maybe even family too. Who gives up that kind of career? I did find it admirable that he would choose to walk away from it all to do something that mattered more with no reassurance of a comfortable life in the future. $3000 or even $300 seems like a lot to spend on a purse and yet, I would be ashamed to tell the child I sponsor in Africa that I spent $30 on a purse. Perspective is important here and I try to remember that when I find myself rolling my eyes at people who seem to have it better than me.

    I agree about the appeal of the Amish. I think in part it's because we crave simplicity and connected-ness and we see that in the way they carry about their lives. I think part of it is just sheer curiosity too. Like, how do they manage life without electricity? My modern electricity-filled life cannot comprehend it.

    I do think though that it's not so much about living like the Amish and not enjoying making our home feel like an extension of ourselves (with those turquoise cabinets you have? I'm in LOVE!) and an expression of our personality, as much as it is not making our home an idol. I think, and I'm assuming a lot here, but the simplicity of the Amish might be tempting for them to regard as an idol as much as we can do the same with all our Pinterest-inspired goals for our home.

    There's a lot to consider when it comes to simplifying life, taking care of what we've been given, etc. Do I have enough? What is enough? When is wanting more for our homes or wardrobes an unhealthy discontent v. acting on the model of the Proverbs 31 who was dressed in fine clothes (she made no doubt) and her home and children were as well. I don't think it's always very clear to me and I probably walk back and forth on that line quite a bit. Something to be conscious of for sure in the coming weeks as I read through the book and consider the changes I could be making in my life and our home....

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    1. ...As far as technology, there are times when I think it could all be wiped out and I'd be so perfectly happy about it. I resent its hold on my life and control over so much of what I do. I also really resent the way I feel it has, more often than not, taken relationships away by making it very easy to pretend to be connected while completely missing out on the intimacy solid relationships are built on. Don't get me started on friendships conducted solely with text messaging. So the way the Amish live without technology is extremely appealing. Until winter hits and I'd miss my hot water and heater. I think its easier to live with what you've never known too. Which is why, when it comes to the Amish, the whole process where the kids get to decide whether to fully commit to their way of life as adults or walk away is fascinating to me as they experience life outside of their homes and smaller community is fascinating to me. Do they embrace our more modern, electric life or run home, horrified by the noise our lives seem to make? For them, to choose a life outside of their community often means to lose complete contact with their families and friends. For me, it seems the same. To choose a quieter life, a simpler life means to lose contact, sometimes completely, with friends and family. I deleted my FB account a while ago and you would have thought I'd joined the Amish world the way people reacted to me over it.

      So I've written a ridiculous amount here but I'm not short on words either I guess. :) I appreciate the opportunity you've provided here to sort out some of these thoughts about living more simply. I'm interested in where else she takes the book in the coming chapters and the changes it might inspire in my life and our home.

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    2. Thank you SO much for your thoughtful review! I really appreciate you coming back and sharing what you gained, from this first chapter.
      I can identify with you that things aren't always clear and much of our clarity {at times} can come from other people, so we can't even be sure that it is what the Lord intended! Which means we have to go back to scripture to investigate {sometimes it is my last resort, sadly!}.

      I can TOTALLY identify with you on the FaceBook issue. I cancelled last April and I have SO many people give me a hard time and say things like, "You've fallen on the face of the earth!" or "I never hear from you anymore" {which is hilarious to me}. It just goes to show our dependance on that type of technology and that we assume that hearing about someone's life is the same as knowing it. That if we are aware of what is going on, through FB, and vice versa, we don't have to do the leg work to have a real relationship.

      Thank you, friend! I look forward to your insights on Chapter two!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Rachel! I definitely was encouraged in my search for simplicity by reading this chapter. But like all things in life, I had to read it through the lens of my life and our resources and choose what is best for me and my husband given our time and resources right now. I shared today on my blog about my thoughts and am excited to continue on in this journey.

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    1. Hi there!
      I am so excited you are sharing on your blog, about your journey through this book-that is so wonderful and I look forward to future updates!

      You are right that we each are going to have a different result, from this book. We are all in a different place and can't expect to end at the same point.

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  3. Wow, thanks for a great review, Rach! I definitely agreed with you about many points you made. I liked the concept of a family home being in your family for generations, with more than one generation living in the house at the same time. What I felt most convicted about was the need I have to clean out the garage, the closets, etc. I could definitely stand to pare down and pass on some of my things to someone who can use them on a more regular basis than I do. You are very good at that. That was probably the point I took from this chapter the most. A reminder of the realization that I do not need much of what I have, and that I do not need much of what I want. I think that God blesses us in so many ways to even have things we do not need, and it made me thankful for those blessings, but I also felt convicted about the polaroidish camera that I told J to buy me the other day... :)

    Overall, I am excited to continue reading, to see what other lessons I can learn from this book.

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    1. I also felt that need, friend. In fact, I began last week, before I started the book, knowing it would cause me to have a reaction, to that effect.
      Funny you mention giving stuff away, because I already have done so!

      I loved what you said about not needing much of what we want. You're so right {although I love the camera you want and still think it's a great purchase. How's that for a bad influence?!}.

      Love you.

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  4. My book hasn't arrived yet but I loved your review :) can't wait to catch up with the readings when my book comes :)

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    1. I'm so glad you ordered it and are joining!
      Chime in whenever you get it!

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  5. so. as you can see, i hardly have time to blog comment these days. i am reading!
    super interested in this, meant to come back and join in on the intro post...

    this is good, i am gonna order/download it and get crackin'...

    also.....love you :)

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  6. Like some of the others who have commented I hope to find ways to apply the principles of this book to my own life using the resources I have. I agree with your statement about the author seeming a little untouchable. I certainly don't know anyone that perfect ;)
    Through reading this book I also hope to conquer my hospitality issues and not worry so much about how my home looks and about what we have or don't because that it not what its about! I have mentioned before about the missional church plant my husband and I are a part of and this is one of the main ways we are trying to reach people in our community...through hospitality in our own homes. Eating with people. Showing genuine love for others, not just charity. Anyway, I thought your review was great and I appreciate you taking the time to do this for all of us!

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    1. I really appreciate that you named your struggle. You pointed out what things are difficult for you and that is the first step towards changing it. Good for you!

      I did the same. Except my list was longer then I had hoped!

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  7. downloaded my book today...sorry..i have been planning my daughters fourth birthday..i will start reading Immeadiately!!!! Yay!

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    1. For shame!

      Just kidding ;)
      I'm just glad you are reading along, with us!

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  8. Rachel, it was a long review, but full of insight! I also found conviction in the need vs. want premise. More times than I'd like to admit, I've been a mindless consumer caving to the ad promising to ___(fill in the blank). The funny thing is, it's that sort of mindless, shallow consumerism that I dislike about our culture as a whole (oh, me, with my plank!). The author touched on some great points that I appreciated, especially those about good planet stewardship and getting in touch with this enormous earth-gift that God has provided us; things like growing a garden to eat from (YES!) and drying laundry on the line - not only an eco choice, but there's is something spiritually uplifting about the smell of the wind and sun in your sheets! :) Notwithstanding, I get you, Rachel - about the author seeming untouchable - I totally picked up on that, too! Not so much about her husband quitting his job, but about all of the ways they have done it right. I did appreciate, however, her mention of their family's lack of tangible roots, being that they left the home they built to eventually move into a condo. That, for me, would be a huge struggle. Then again, it really only matters that I have my family close, no matter where we are.
    Technology has done so much to advance our world, and yet I feel that it has made us lose sight of our moral compass. I worry about the impact all of this face-less communication and being constantly linked in will have on the generations, now and to follow. I agree with you Rachel, that though one may simplify and reject most of the opportunities to be linked in so that they may draw closer to others, it may have the ironically opposite effect of alienating them. I have sat in on more than one convo where I felt lost, and the response I usually get to the dopey look on my face: "Didn't you read my Facebook post?" ugh.
    Like Jennifer S., I hope to grow in hospitality; to open my home more often to others. I definitely fall short on the decorating/style curve, and admittedly , I am self conscious about that. Also, one of our daughters has special needs, and we make accommodations around our home/schedule for her. It's not a typical household dynamic, which almost always evokes looks of concern/curiosity, or other. I tend to hover over my home a bit because of this and I'm thinking now is the time to stop being so concerned about our family's level of unpredictability and the reactions that may evoke. That is a challenge for me. It has also got me thinking about how the Amish care for their disabled population...I'm about to go down a rabbit hole here... :)
    On the whole, this book has my heart stirring. I look forward to the continued read.

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    1. Kris,
      Thank you so much for sharing with us.
      First of all, I really agree that it is usually what we struggle with that we abhor the most, in the world. It's a push and pull for me, as well. I am constantly having to work on mastering and being in control of my online technology use. I have had to make choices to eliminate things and it has proved so hard in relationships and my personal feelings, really. People don't like to admit how wired in they are, but almost everyone is.

      Secondly, thank you for sharing about your family dynamic. It is a interesting circumstance that the Lord has placed you in, but He desires your family to be a light EXACTLY HOW IT IS. Who knows how much freedom you are going to give someone else, just by being YOU.

      Thank you again-I learn from YOU.

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  9. Humph! I started writing some comments but they strayed far from the subject at hand, so I turned it into a post over on my weblog. But I do want to be a part of this discussion so I'll just throw down one of the quotes that challenged me:

    “Our homes reflect our values. They reflect who we are inside and what we hold most precious. If our houses are cluttered, our hearts are too.”

    This is it, isn’t it? This is the key to so much of what this is about. I look around my apartment and I think, This IS me – and I’m not happy about it. I need to weed this garden. I may be a single man with no kids (even my cat is living with a friend at the moment), but a home is a home is a home.

    “Possessions should work for us; we should not work for them.”

    And the gauntlet is thrown!

    Bring it, Sleeth!

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    1. I'm adding the link to your post because I believe it summed up the reason I wanted to read this book in the first place {sans me being an old man, in NYC}:
      http://monkboogie.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/this-post-sucks/

      It's very clear that we all can say that we want to be here but it's a lie {at least for me}. I believe that much of her book I will implement in my daily life, not because I'm excited to, but because I believe, someday, I'll be glad I did.

      {as a side note to other readers, Monk Boogie was one of my high school teachers!}

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    2. how very awesome that you still connect with each other...that is great!!
      those two quotes really got me too!!

      I agree...bring it on sleeth!

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    3. Rachel, and I quote: "It's very clear that we all can say that we want to be HERE but it's a lie" – man, I love typos. They're the Freudian slips of this Brave New World we live in.

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    4. I'm half amused at this {I literally LOL'ed} and half ashamed that I am the one that typed it.

      Good thing you were my drama teacher and not my English teacher.

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  10. Ok so ..I had to start with the intro...lol!
    Here is my post
    http://thebrewersblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/blog-series-almost-amish-intro.html

    I'll put chapter one up tomorrow hopefully..

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  11. I just ordered the book, and I look forward to reading along. I finished Jen Hatmaker's book, Seven, just before I left for vacation, and this sounds like it will be a nice companion to that. I have to admit...I'm a little scared about what lessons God has coming my way. He is so good, though, to patiently lead me through the sanctification process one step at a time...I'm also in the process of pouring over Romans 12 as I prepare for the women's retreat I'm planning for our church ladies in September. Not at all a coincidence. Our theme is 'A Living Sacrifice'. Fitting, no?

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    1. I LOVED 7. Totally convicting and moved me to really think about my stuff and get rid of a lot of it! I love/hate when God moves and teaches us lessons we don't necessarily want to learn :)

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  12. my book just came eep! hoping to read some tonight. im always a day late and a dollar short.

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  13. chapter one up!
    http://thebrewersblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/almost-amish-chapter-one.html

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  14. okay, naptime is almost over so I don't have much time to comment on this chapter but here are a few quick thoughts.

    1. we are pretty minimalist in our home but I have started going through closets, cupbards etc again and finding more things I could get rid of or pass onto friends who need it. and ugh we have a lot of STUFF!

    2. some of her examples seem like she's tooting her own horn.

    3. love the idea that its not about what your home looks like, the decor, fancy food etc but more about creating a welcoming loving environment for all who enter. definitely made me think about how people experience my little home.

    4. "if somebody else can use it now, why should we store it for someday?" YES!

    5. "our home reflects our values. They reflect who we are inside and what we hold most precious."

    the end :)

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  15. ok now i am buying the book! i loved your review- some things we have to say don't fit in a sound byte- and i loved this sentence the most- The Bible says nothing about a PINEREST-worthy tablescape.
    i struggle with hospitality because my home is not pinterest worthy but u gave me lots to think about.

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    1. I'm so glad you are joining us! I can't wait to hear what you gain from it!

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